More of the Same Failed Policies of the Past

Here is a spot-on blog post from the Cato Institute that I originally missed, but it is one of my favorite themes – that government spending dramatically increased over the past 8 years under Bush (and at the state level under Rendell).  From Obama’s budget blueprint:

Another manifestation of irresponsibility is the large budget deficits we are inheriting. These deficits, over time, will harm economic growth and impose burdens on our children and grandchildren. …

Between 2000 and 2008, real Government outlays increased at a 3.6 percent annual average rate, three times the 1.2 percent annual average rate between 1992 and 2000…Furthermore, the amount of debt held by the public has nearly doubled to $6.4 trillion from 2001 to 2008. We are now living with the fallout of this deep fiscal irresponsibility.

I must agree with the Obama administration on this – Bush was a big spender, and those spending habits undermined economic growth.   Yet as Cato points out,

The administration accurately states that federal spending and debt have increased at a detrimental pace this decade.  Then it says we’re in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  And the solution to the economic downturn caused in part by too much spending and debt is to increase deficit spending and further run up the national debt?  By the administration’s own logic, shouldn’t we be experiencing economic growth with all the deficit spending it “inherited?”

Indeed, if government spending could “stimulate” the economy, Pennsylvania would be booming, rather than ranking among the worst states in economic growth.